29 January, 2018
The government is currently seeking consultation on the Blue Badge Scheme that plays a vital role in allowing 2.4 million disabled people in England to maintain their independence through special national parking concessions. The current rules embrace all conditions, physical or otherwise, but it has become clear to the government that the regulations and guidance are not clearly understood by local authorities. People with hidden disabilities, such as a stoma, may be finding it difficult to access badges, even though their condition causes them very significant difficulties when undertaking a journey.
The proposition is that the scheme should be about enabling people to make journeys that would otherwise be extremely difficult and to focus on the journey rather than just the physical act of walking.
Colostomy UK welcomes this consultation. In our view, having a stoma should not lead to an automatic entitlement to a blue badge. Instead, we would prefer to see a system whereby applications for badges are judged individually, on their own merits. This is because every ostomate is different. For some, their stoma presents no barriers to living a full and active life. Others though, are less fortunate. For these people, a blue badge could be a life changer, heralding the return of confidence and independence, and empowering them to do things that were previously difficult or impossible.
Colostomy UK encourages its supporters to respond to the consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/blue-badge-disabled-parking-scheme-eligibility-review/blue-badge-scheme-consultation-on-eligibility#how-to-respond